As noted before with the now-defunct tumblr Rich White People, the fast-growing image-driven blog format provides its style-junky curators with the ideal platform for presenting a context-free visual blitzkrieg. Otherwise unrelated photos are thrown together into a collage whose cumulative effect is a personal statement about the site creator’s taste. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either an eye-candy banquet or a photographic junk heap.
Today it is with great reluctance (OK, frothing relish) that Ivy Style is obliged to report on a new tumblr site launched by the infamous upper-class impersonator WASP 101. Hardly known for his command of the English language, the visual medium of tumblr will no doubt suit him better.
In “The Preppy Halls of WASP 101,” as the site is colorfully called, we have the perfect case study for an academic examination of the corruption of the authentic self in the digital age. Herein a man, who has donned a mask of anonymity both to protect his fragile but attention-seeking ego as well as absolve himself of accountability, juxtaposes pictures of himself dressed in pompous outfits with photos of English royalty, characters from the television show “Gossip Girl,” and aspirational fashion advertising.
One assumes that in the crafting of his Internet persona, WASP 101 has, either consciously or unconsciously, hoped that in the visual legerdemain of tumblr, followers will be so tricked by the tasteful imagery that they will fail to notice the underlying artifice: that in the visual juxtaposition of himself with his ideals, WASP 101 hopes that his idols will shine their golden light on him, and that he will glow in a kind of gilt by association. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD